Re-Registering to Vote: Yes We Can!

Lake CIty wagon in the skyWhen Jim and I hit the road, we never re-registered to vote in the town where we now get our mail. We feared that the California court system would nab us, and make us return to Cali for jury duty. This happens a lot to traveling fulltimers, and getting out of it can be a nightmare. We’ve been avoiding this issue for over a year.

But now, we’ve gotta deal with it. After watching Obama’s incredibly moving speech last night, I cannot with good conscience, sit here being depressed about the state of our country, and not re-register to vote. They say you get the country you deserve. Well, I deserve far better than what we have now (and so do you), so I’m going to get off my butt and re-register, and let the chips fall where they may.

Eight years ago, I gave up on the political system in this country. I still hate the system, and don’t entirely trust it, but I do believe in the change that we as a nation can bring about if we choose Obama as our leader, and commit to keeping this historic momentum going.

I’m not even sure that my vote will actually count, and the election won’t get hijacked again, but as Springsteen says, you can always find a Reason to Believe.

14 Responses to “Re-Registering to Vote: Yes We Can!”

  1. Hey, where’s a good blog on religion?
    What’s the old saying, “the good old days never were and have never been,” the mentioned programs did much to pull this country out of the depression and yes a democratic president had a strong hand in them, but certain injustices pervaded as in those days as well demonstrating clearly today that we’re getting better – now there’s hope and change for yah.

    I believe we’d be a much better country – if there is such thing as I believe people can be great rather than countries – if folks took the time to review the very public congressional records so they can see what the 110th Congress is doing for a living? It’s all online so no secrets there.

    Not everyone’s going to find the two political factions and or voting options appealing, on this we can agree. Sure, you can vote for Nader and others I suspect, but this election is about two parties. The Republicans come across as a bit mean-spirited and pushy about the bible’s narrow and static definition of how things should be. Not that religion is unhealthy per se on a personal level but it is not the best mechanism for addressing a pluralistic countries social and economic requirements.

    Then there’s the Democratic leadership with their calls for “hope” and “change” and a few other terms that do much to incite and excite, are they going to make endless promises to their voting body and show their constituents how they will once again punish the ambitious by taxing heavily for social programs that never seem go away but rather enable? The Democrats have a history of doing this but it is also the Democrats who understand the need for some form of universal health care if we’re going to keep our working tax payers in condition for working and paying taxes.

    The GI Bill paid for a good part of my education and as such it is my opinion – after much thought, reading, and dialog – that education can and will save us from ourselves.

    Reducing both parties to standard bearers of disappointment is never enjoyable as inevitably someone will sit in the big chair whether we believe in their message or not.

    It might not hurt ever now and then to step back however from ones political views so as to ensure we don’t denigrate them by getting too righteous about those views Democrat and Republican alike!

    I don’t think you can be the voice of change and keep playing the hand of intolerance (women’s rights, stem cell research, and so on) and then calling it conservatism? Not hardly as there’s so little conserving going on.

    Keep your religion out of our government and we’ll keep our science out of your churches. For the Democrats I’d say fewer promises more self-restraint.

    Now did someone say libertarian?

    Eric

  2. Jenn,

    I might be Libertarian, though I’m not sure. The part of me that gets incredibly annoyed when breeders get paid for spawning children, well, I think that part of me is libertarian, right?

    Ah, the something great. Well, I’ve heard these stories that this country actually used to give a crap about the social welfare of its citizens. There were benefits for military people, like the GI Bill that really paid for college. There were WPA, CCC and AmeriCorps programs that built incredible national parks and monuments, and sent volunteers to economically depressed areas to teach empowerment skills to locals. Health care didn’t bankrupt people not too long ago. Oh, and wait, there was also a time when corporations didn’t run amok and hold workers hostage to shareholder reactions. Waaaay back, people also had more time to care for their communities and families, because they didn’t have to live hand-to-mouth, paycheck to paycheck to survive. Oh wait, and taxes actually used to pay for something other than bombs. Finally, there was actually a time when the U.S. wasn’t the laughing stock of the entire planet. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some respect again?

    Obama has empowered so many people, has given them the hope that we, as a united country, can work toward greatness again. I truly believe this can happen if he wins. That’s what I meant.

  3. Ron Paul. I am a big proponent of individual responsibility and libertarianism, in my interpretations, is based upon that.

    There weren’t a lot of heartfelt, moving moments at the Ron Paul gatherings and rallies. There was mainly a lot of talk about economics, global relations, personal rights, and the constitution. There are a lot of motivated and intelligent folks involved the Libertarian party. It was enlightening. I had a lot of hope. It would be nice if the party received more balanced news coverage in the future, but I have my doubts. The whole election process and mass media makes me sick.

    Because my views (on the surface) are much different than most folks, I try not to talk about politics (cause it rarely ends well and no one is ever better off afterward), but I am really curious about your views and have to ask: Is there a specific “something great” that you are referring to in the following statement?

    This vote isn’t about Obama, it’s about us, and working together a nation so that just might be able to achieve something great again.

  4. Auckerman, you really need to read more about Obama’s background and his successes in organizing diverse groups of people, community groups and the like to get them to work together and achieve goals with economic impact.

    It seems to me that politicians with strong business backgrounds usually turn out to be greedy swindlers, liars and cheats.

    Do you really think that one person can bring this country out of the mess it’s in? One person, one plan? Right. I’m not voting for Obama specifically, I’m voting for the millions of people out there who are pissed off enough to actually want to get involved and build plans together to get us on a decent path again. When in your lifetime have you ever seen a politician motivate lazy ass Americans like this? Uh, try never, at least in mine, and I’m not that much younger than you.

    This vote isn’t about Obama, it’s about us, and working together a nation so that just might be able to achieve something great again.

  5. Eric Auckerman September 1, 2008 at 5:48 pm Reply

    Whether you snorting McCain or taking another hit off the Obama, I say neither one is qualified based on my impressions of either candidate! Why the harsh declaration? Simply for the following reason – both are career government workers.

    Yes, Obama did teach briefly law but that in my book doesn’t qualify you to run the largest – and soon to be overshadowed- economy in the world. I want Obama to talk about the larger agenda that’s missing from his “can you feel the love” speeches, but neither he nor McCain are business people and when I see their lips move I know the topic is going to sink back into how people should and can “feel” in this country. I don’t need a politician to make me feel anything, that’s not why we’re hiring these people people, we’re hiring these folks to use their best judgments to solve issues on a scale that our states cannot.

    Feeling good about ones country does feel good, I remember it well, back before the Obama camp dismissed aspects of President Clinton’s eight years, I felt really good about this country, but mainly because I perceived – right or wrong – President Clinton to have done a decent job considering all the fecal tossing among our public servants during those years.

    Obama is probably a just and decent man with good intentions, but personally I don’t need progressive, liberal, conservative, green or whatever other label folks think apply to good intentions, what I need and desire as a tax payer is competence! Proven competence is always the best but when I can’t get that someone who can at least articulate how they will address given issues will have to suffice, I’m not getting that from either candidate. Maybe your right Rene, another party might be in order?

    I always ask myself whenever someone runs for office the following question: What have they ever succeeded at that qualifies him for the job? I’m not saying you had to have been president of the US to become president of the US but rather what strategies have you applied to achieve a successful outcome in your working life? Both Obama and McCain could list a few items I’m sure, but of those, how many had an economic impact so folks can do for themselves and not simply be patsies for the government because all they got was warm milk from Washington’s hind teat? Hah, take that you, you, you, politician types!

    The US is stressed out and since our leaders are going light on talking about the retooling of this countries economy save for token mention of solar and green industries (and yes, there are solar assembly plants even in Ohio) we’ll hopefully get a leader who will not create more government jobs for those that voted for him but rather tell the US population – you need to buck up and do right by getting an education, some skills, no more TV, turn off that talk radio blather, and spit out that gum…

    Oh, and by the way, the Chinese are coming and there are a whole lot of ’em, so we’d better get a president who understands the nature of business some day.

    May the best candidate win and prove to be the best candidate in the time alloted – Eric.

  6. Jenn, was it Ron Paul or Kucinich?

    I truly wish that 3rd parties were given the respect they deserve here. I was a Green Party member for a number of years. This election though, I think, is too important to not to do something to move this country out of these dark years. I can relate to how you feel though, I very much felt that way when Nader got pushed out in favor of lame-o Kerry.

    I’m hoping that with Obama’s presidency, it will pave the way for more progressive ideals and attitudes in this country that can eventually make 3rd parties a viable option.

  7. I have yet to register for my absentee ballot, nor have I re-registered at my new mailing address. I am not sure if I will. I was very involved in this election. I canvased and even campaigned at the polls during the primary elections. Then my candidate was forced out. I haven’t had any desire to pay attention to the election since. I am against both socialism and imperialism, so I don’t have a candidate anymore. I am glad that you still have the passion that I once did. Its refreshing.

    When I moved to Chicago many years ago, I got summoned for jury duty ad got out of it by calling and saying the I no longer lived in the area. They said, “Ok, we will take you off the list.” And, they did.

  8. Jerry Critter, you are so right. Like Obama said in his speech, the election isn’t about him, it’s about US. For too many years the American public has become complacent and lazy when it comes to who we put in office. Look where it’s gotten us.

    Obama’s campaign is so incredible because it’s the first one since when, Kennedy? that’s galvanized so many people from so many walks of life to get involved in the system. Now, when he goes to DC, we MUST keep up the momentum to make sure that we get what we want and need out of government. He can’t do it without us.

  9. I’m not sure that Obama can bring about the change that he is talking about, but I am sure that McCain will not. Obama can not do it by himself however. It is important that we send the right (meaning left) people to congress to support him.

  10. Nathan, thanks for reading, and commenting! According to the CA League of Women Voters:

    “If you own more than one residence you must decide which one is your “domicile” and register and vote at only one place.

    If you are homeless you may register as long as you maintain a fixed location where you can receive mail and at which you can be assigned to a precinct.”

    So, being fulltimers, I guess that qualifies us as “homeless”! You can vote by absentee ballot, but you must meet the registration deadline for your state, so be sure to check that out. I say, pick PA as your domicile, if you’re an Obama supporter, since he needs all the votes he can get there! Oregon is a shoe-in.

    Kim, I think that we just might do the Escapee thing if we continue this lifestyle any longer than next year.

    Dad, you are so right.

    Michelle, I know what you mean. If Obama becomes president, we just might gain redemption in the eyes of the world. If he doesn’t, you can count on Jim and I moving north.

  11. If I could give up my vote here in Canada to vote for the US president, I would. The USA effects the entire worlds economy and I pray for Obama’s win. American needs a real servant leader like him.

  12. i hit politics armagedon 8 yrs ago & almost gave up on the whole mess, then i realized, that`s exactly what THEY want us to do !! iv`e gotta keep on keepin on for those who come after me, i feel i owe it to them .

  13. Being Escapee members we can do all our voting online and through the mail. That is one of the reasons why we chose TX as our “residence” as fulltimers. Every state has their own rules. TX has made it easy for us to do everything while on the road.

  14. Hi there,

    I’ve been secretly enjoying your blog for a couple of weeks now, thanks for the read.

    We’re also a family of fulltimers, just getting started. I’ve been wondering myself how I’m to vote – will I be able to mail something in or do I have to go to an actual voting poll?

    And I get mail at both a PO Box in Portland, OR (via EarthClass Mail) and to my mother’s address in Pennsylvania…not sure which one to consider my “residence.”

    So many questions, so few Google searches. 🙂

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